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Eliza Carthy in the Guardian

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GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 15 Apr 08 - 04:31 PM
Herga Kitty 15 Apr 08 - 04:32 PM
Sarah the flute 15 Apr 08 - 04:32 PM
irishenglish 15 Apr 08 - 04:33 PM
Folkiedave 15 Apr 08 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 15 Apr 08 - 04:41 PM
Ruth Archer 15 Apr 08 - 04:44 PM
Folkiedave 15 Apr 08 - 04:49 PM
Ruth Archer 15 Apr 08 - 04:52 PM
Folkiedave 15 Apr 08 - 04:55 PM
irishenglish 15 Apr 08 - 04:57 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 15 Apr 08 - 05:03 PM
Ruth Archer 15 Apr 08 - 05:04 PM
GUEST,Sue Allan 15 Apr 08 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,Sue Allan 15 Apr 08 - 05:11 PM
Ruth Archer 15 Apr 08 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,Sue Allan 15 Apr 08 - 05:32 PM
Ruth Archer 15 Apr 08 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 15 Apr 08 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,Sue Allan 15 Apr 08 - 05:48 PM
Ruth Archer 15 Apr 08 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,Sue Allan 15 Apr 08 - 05:56 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 15 Apr 08 - 06:00 PM
GUEST,Sue Allan 15 Apr 08 - 06:09 PM
Ruth Archer 15 Apr 08 - 06:09 PM
Steve Shaw 15 Apr 08 - 06:43 PM
GUEST 15 Apr 08 - 07:15 PM
Sue Allan 15 Apr 08 - 07:27 PM
GUEST,guy wolff 15 Apr 08 - 07:41 PM
Ruth Archer 15 Apr 08 - 07:49 PM
GUEST,guy wolff 15 Apr 08 - 08:01 PM
Steve Shaw 15 Apr 08 - 08:12 PM
Sarah the flute 16 Apr 08 - 03:27 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 16 Apr 08 - 04:21 AM
Folkiedave 16 Apr 08 - 04:28 AM
Folkiedave 16 Apr 08 - 04:31 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 16 Apr 08 - 05:17 AM
Ruth Archer 16 Apr 08 - 05:28 AM
Steve Shaw 16 Apr 08 - 05:38 AM
The Borchester Echo 16 Apr 08 - 05:42 AM
Steve Shaw 16 Apr 08 - 05:46 AM
Ruth Archer 16 Apr 08 - 06:06 AM
Steve Shaw 16 Apr 08 - 06:16 AM
Steve Shaw 16 Apr 08 - 06:18 AM
Ruth Archer 16 Apr 08 - 06:29 AM
GUEST 16 Apr 08 - 06:42 AM
mattkeen 16 Apr 08 - 06:47 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 16 Apr 08 - 06:49 AM
Willa 16 Apr 08 - 06:51 AM
George Papavgeris 16 Apr 08 - 06:58 AM
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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:31 PM

"And it wasn't even criticism of her music!"

no, but you're sure doing a job on the music (folk) that you profess to love.

"We haven't done over-much to change the image have we"
....?

Dunno which cave you've been sleeping in for the passed 30 or so years, but the changes in folk have been quite noticabler, for those with eyes to see, and ears to hear.

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:32 PM

Classic FM is the dumbed down version of classical music for people who find Radio 3 too challenging... .discuss.....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:32 PM

I AM THE CALLER!!!!!!!! heretical or not!
Thanks for the nice comment Diane

I think it should be a great occasion and hopefully a few people will find out what folk is all about while dancing the night away. Officially we only have 45mins so its going to be a speed ceilidh

Sarah


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: irishenglish
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:33 PM

Steve...."the huge variety of classical music on offer during the wonderful Proms season. The Proms are extremely diverse and there is truly something for everyone."

If that is true what is the diversity of which you speak? And if there has been no or little folk music before, how is that truly something for everyone? It seems to me like most of the people who posted on here are open minded, and have experience with The Proms, and are not simply bashing it with no knowledge. And if you knew about folk music at The Albert Hall, then what do you mean by "My comment did not imply that particular nugget of ignorance on my part "


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Folkiedave
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:36 PM

for the image of folk music.

So let's start with one suggestion.

Let's treat it as music with some real value, worth subsidising and worth listening to. That would help. Perhaps give it one - just one promenade concert. And not whinge at Eliza's article promoting said concert.

It took the organisers until the 1950's to get a northern-based orchestra (Sir John Barbirolli and the Halle) into the act so I suppose we can't grumble too much.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:41 PM

"Classic FM is the dumbed down version of classical music for people who find Radio 3 too challenging... .discuss....."

Dare I say....classical music as pop music? (heaven knows what something like Folk FM would sound like) Thank goodness I can listen to Radio 3 on the internet.

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:44 PM

Well, here's my take on it Steve:

Culture in Britain was, in the 19th century, defined through the "high art" forms of classical music, opera and ballet. Artforms of the people - "folk" art forms - were traditionally seen as "low art", and accorded a lesser status within a society whose upper echelons dictated taste.

These upper echelons continued to dictate the cultural standards in the UK until the 60s. Classical music was seen as better, more sophisticated than other forms of music, which is what led to it being so heavily subsidised. Folk culture was seen as coming from the working classes, and therefore not worthy of equal status - indeed, the term "folk" (originally coined in Germany in the 19th century) was a largely pejorative term for many decades.

So why do we have a Classic FM and Radio 3, but no folk radio station? I don't think it's because people don't want it - I doubt that the listening figures for classical radio really justify its existence in purely commercial terms. But despite relatively low listening figures, we have these things because they are "good for" society.

"The BBC was seen by Reith as an instrument of national culture which had to transcend the different and conflicting groups in society. He felt that it should provide moral guidance and respect for traditional values. One of the ways in which it tried to achieve this was by constructing the listener, typically a male one, not as a member of a particular class but as an individual at home with his family. This celebrated patriarchy, the domestic sphere and the radio itself. However, this cosy image, far from transcending class, actually promoted middle-class culture and values, hence the plummy tones of the announcers, and hence too the attempt of the Music Department to impose "classical" culture on its audience." (Day 1997: 16)

These old values of the BBC are still seen in Radio 3, methinks. Classical music is a minority interest, just like folk: one has its own radio station, the other gets an hour a week on national radio. Because of this history, folk has a monumental mountain to climb.

Folk has suffered because of this prioritisation of classical music and "high art" culture in the past, which has certainly been a contributing factor to its low status in contemporary culture. And if you are tempted to say "But that was then...", just look at the level to which the classical artfiorms are still subsidised today.

And don't even get me started on the national lottery...


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Folkiedave
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:49 PM

Well, Ruth, have you ever wondered why there is a Classic FM and not a Folk FM?? People don't want it, you see!

Actually when you add up all the people who go to festivals large (Sidmouth) and small (Bradfield Traditional Music Festival) then you have a lot of people who do want it. And are prepared to pay mostly unsubsidised prices to hear and see it. Show of Hands and The Watersons Mighty River of Song both (more or less) sold out the Albeert Hall last year a few nights apart. So much for people not wanting it. At unsubsidised prices.

As for the BBC, when asked if the programme which replaced Radio Newcastle's Folk Programme was getting more lsteners the answer was err.errr.ummmm.... Did you know Steve that having transferred folk music in the main to local radio, there is no BBC local radio coverage in Sheffield, Manchester, Hull, Newcastle, Middlesborough and other large parts of Northern England?

Never mind, we have the Proms.

Tell me Steve how many people would listen to opera once the subsidies were withdrawn?

A lot less, that would be for certain.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:52 PM

sorry - I should have made clear that the quote above was from a paper by Jane Dowson, a former colleague of mine at De Montfort University.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Folkiedave
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:55 PM

You can also listen to "Thank Goodness It's Folk" on the internet.

See my Permathread on Friday for the playlist.

Dave (who in confessional mood, presents the programme so this is a blatant plug).

PS And for Steve's benefit - it is one of the most consistently listened to programmes on the station. We don't have a classical programme. No-one would listen to it you see..........


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: irishenglish
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 04:57 PM

You are right Ruth, and in terms of funding, etc, in the US, it would probably all go to jazz, which seems to shrink more and more, but gets so much press and attention here in NY. That's no condemnation of the people involved, but I feel the pain of being a folk and world music fan mostly, who finds limited support of the music. Being in New York City helps of course, because there is an audience for just about everything here, but you just know it could be so much more.

So what's all this about the national lottery! (Just Kidding)


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:03 PM

'You can also listen to "Thank Goodness It's Folk" on the internet'

great programme, great music...and no, folkiedave didn't pay me to say that *LOL*

'We don't have a classical programme. No-one would listen to it you see.......... '

oh dear was that a dig? ;-)

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:04 PM

irishenglish, I did an outreach project some years ago with Lincoln Centre Jazz Orchestra and Winton Marsalis - it was as expensive as classical orchestral work (or would have been if the producers hadn't achived a huge grant). I feel your pain!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Sue Allan
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:09 PM

How sad that people who love one form of music feel they have to diss another kind of music. Classical music has a lot of subsidy because orchestras and large ensembles, and operas and ballet (like theatre) are expensive things. To keep a 40 strong symphony orchestra on the road costs a hell of a lot more than a . In the past there would have been patronage for music from the aristocracy or rich merchants, in the more recent past there has been commercial sponsorship ... but in these tough times there's less of that about. So there's subsidy these days from the Arts Council - but that is rapidly shrinking too. You should be fighting for more support for all cultural forms, not just our own little corner.

Forget the stereotypes of classical music being the music of (a) the upper classes (b) musical snobs (c) so-called 'high status'or moneyed classes ... just LISTEN to it in all its huge, enthralling, intriguing, wonderful variety. Maybe there's some you don't like, but you're sure to find some you do.

I don't go for much 19th century stuff, but bring on Bach, Mozart, Handel and some earlier stuff and such giants of the 20th century as Vaughan Williams, Messaien, Britten, James MacMillan, Harrison Birtwhistle and Peter Maxwell Davies (have you heard his stuff with Northumbrian pipes: fab!)- and I'm in seventh heaven. Bring on Joseph Taylor, Walter Pardon, Micky Moscrop, Robert Forrester, Waterson:Carthy et all too and I'm probably in eighth heaven.

I have played, sung, danced and researched folk music for the past 35 years or more and obviously love it. I also love classical music (and my partner is a classical musician)and have played it in the past, and still sing in choirs. The Proms is a wonderful two month long festival which showcases the best of musics (I use the plural advisedly: it's a diverse set of musics)for everyone and anyone. If you can't get there you can listen on the radio, or watch on TV. I've only been twice, but each time the atmosphere was really something.

Don't close your minds: open your ears!

Sue


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Sue Allan
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:11 PM

Oops, missed a bit in second line of my last message. Should have read 'more expensive than a folk band, even a big one with PA and techies.'

S


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:18 PM

Sue, my mind is not closed, but having worked in venues for many years (in partnership with one famous orchestra for a couple of years) I have seen the audiences for these subsidised artforms - largely upper-middle class - and feel that we are subsidising what is not only a minority artform, but one largely enjoyed by people who are already quite privileged. Why should they enjoy these benefits, particularly as they are largely paid for by working class people buying lottery tickets? Other artforms have made much more successful inroads into wider accessibility to people from all sorts of backgrounds - I haven't observed this with opera, ballet or classical music.

While it's true that orchestras are expensive to keep on the road, my experience is that it can cost substantially more to bring in equivalent numbers of classical musicians compared to those from other genres, because the pay scale is significantly higher. Why should this be, when the artform is already receiving subsidy?

I am not dissing classical music at all. I just don't think it deserves a higher status than folk music, which is the national music of this country.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Sue Allan
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:32 PM

Ruth, I don't think status should come into it. It's another music to be listened to, participated in and enjoyed. I too have worked on outreach projects with classical musicians, and one orchestra in my day job in arts development. And we had some fantastic successes: classical musicians working with adults with severe learning difficulties for example, and a 'Cobweb Orchestra' - as in 'blow the cobwebs off your music stand' and get your instrument out of the attic - for all comers, of all ages, any instruments (flautists would play first violin parts etc etc) which is still on the go some ten years late.

Yes I do agree that, although I do know some keen youngsters, when I go to concerts there is a preponderance of middle class, grey haired people. It's the same at the literature festival I help to organise. Some of that's down to money, but much is down to people's perceptions or misconceptions ... and most of all I think to education or lack of it. Kids do far less singing and playing and listening to different forms of music (especially classical and folk) than when I was at school. Play them some Maxwell Davies I say - and get Max on telly talking to kids (he did Blue Peter some years ago I remember) Make playing instruments and singing really fun - in any genre - and things would really improve. But you need to spend money on specialist music teachers in primary schools to start with ... so as always it comes down to money.

Orchestras are trying to be more accessible these days and work in other ways. Northern Sinfonia share The Sage at Gateshead with Folkworks, and there's lots of education work going on there. Maybe that's a good model for the rest of the country.

Sue


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:39 PM

Sue, the reason I think status is important is because it impacts on how the music (and dance) is viewed by the government and by funders. Both are key to the music (and dance) being celebrated as part of England's cultural life, similarly to how it's viewed, say, in Ireland. As long as that status isn't apportioned, folk will continue to struggle with its image and visibility.

No arguments about the orchetras who are making an effort - fair play to those engaging in interesting and exciting outreach work, and these days there's more of it about. But I think that's at least partly to do with certain funding now being contingent on these orchestras demonstrating their accessibility.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:41 PM

'Maybe that's a good model for the rest of the country.'

One can hope that some of this spills over into The Proms, you never know what might happen. Open mind, open ears....

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Sue Allan
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:48 PM

Bugger1


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:53 PM

I should add that last year, as part of our partnership with the Distil showcase, I tried to draw down some funding for a folk/classical outreach and touring project. The funders (who fund classical music development)decided that using a classical chamber group was not sufficiently orchestral, and would only agree if there were substantially more touring orchestral musicians involved and there was additionally a full orchestral concert in my venue at the end of the project. I could not make this work financially. The orchestral bods were also very sniffy aboutt he project being folk-led, and at the idea that they could learn anything from the folk side of things. It was the inherent assumption of superiority from the classical crowd that really rankled with me.

By the way, if I'd wanted to do this project with folk musicians alone, it would have cost around £5k. The costings with the classical orchestra involved came to almost £20k. Crazy.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Sue Allan
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:56 PM

Sorry - having keyboard problems here! That should have been, bugger I've just lost the long reply I was writing to Ruth. Can't do it again ... suffice to say I was relating problems in getting funding from the Arts Council for anything that's not innovative and hits their diversity etc targets ... which tradarts/folk can rarely do.

They simply continue funding their traditional recipients such as the big orchestras, ballet, opera and theatre companies who cannot exist without funding and for the rest ask you to hit various buttons which are foisted on them by the Government. Sadly folk music isn't one - unless you've got a project which is new and different. They rarely fund anything which is just ongoing.

It's a big problem for us in Cumbria: we can't play the numbers game (rural county: sparse population) or hit the BME button (about 1% ethnic minority here). We always have to be very creative in the way we apply for Grants for the Arts funding ... folk/tradarts needs to be creative in just the same way. Migh be better though to stay out of the arts funding labyrinth!

Sue


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 06:00 PM

"The orchestral bods were also very sniffy aboutt he project being folk-led, and at the idea that they could learn anything from the folk side of things."

So they don't perform anything by Vaughan Williams or Ivor Gurney I take it?

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Sue Allan
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 06:09 PM

Yeah, when I said there needs to be better music education, I reckon that should include education of classical musicians too. Just as there perhaps needs to be education of born-again folkies about music of other genres?

Sue
(runs for cover)


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 06:09 PM

I'll just say that for smaller-scale traditional arts outreach projects, I've done okay over the past couple of years - around £30k. But I realise it's a drop in the ocean compared with what the classical world achieves. It's also interesting that some of the regional folk development organisations have been cut altogether this year. My theory is that giving someone like me the money to do outreach is more cost-effective, as my venue pays my salary, marketing, infrastructural costs etc. If they can get more people who are already employed by other organisations doing the work, they can save a lot of money that would previously have gone on infrastructure.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 06:43 PM

We have a fine tradition of classical music in this country. It is subsidised, and could not exist without it. Dave old chap, I have no axe to grind whatsoever when it comes to opera (silliest thing with clothes on, etc.), but the plain fact is that opera is exceptionally expensive to stage and if it were not subsidised it would not happen, never mind attract smaller audiences. I don't care for it much myself but I defend to the hilt its right to exist. Just think. Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Wagner (fascist pig though he was), all down the pan.    We've had a great tradition of symphony orchestras too, including several superb ones under the Beeb's umbrella on top of the London-based ones and several regional orchestras of exceptional standard, notably the Halle and the Birmingham Symphony (and I'm not wishing to leave out the others). You can't have this without subsidy. There was reference to unsubsidised gigs by Show of Hands et al.   Mighty though they are, Show of Hands are two guys. Of course, there is an infrastructure behind 'em, but symphony orchestras have that too. Perhaps the critics here of classical music funding would like to see classical concerts with the cheapest seats at £200 so that we can watch Show of Hands for a fiver. Actually, I've seen Show of Hands four times (seen Eliza a couple of times too! :-) ) and I've been to a lot of symphony concerts too and I want to be able to keep going to both. Ruth's statement "and [I] feel that we are subsidising what is not only a minority artform, but one largely enjoyed by people who are already quite privileged" is not only inaccurate but also reeks somewhat of sour grapes.   Privileged in what way? So much that they damn well deserve to be fleeced rotten for going to a concert? I smell doom for most of our wonderful orchestras if this kind of opinion were to prevail.

Sue wrote, among other wise things, "Forget the stereotypes of classical music being the music of (a) the upper classes (b) musical snobs (c) so-called 'high status'or moneyed classes ... just LISTEN to it in all its huge, enthralling, intriguing, wonderful variety. Maybe there's some you don't like, but you're sure to find some you do." Fabulous. Couldn't agree more. And it's all in the Proms. You don't even have to watch the Last Night to find it either! Cheers, Sue!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 07:15 PM

I have no problem with peoples' access to any sort of music, I have a problem with disproportionate access to one thing over another. I studied classical music at A-level, and oddly that didn't kill a lifelong love for its many forms!
A national free festival in our most famous venue should have some representation of the many kinds of national and international music that we have, and not favour anything over anything else. I am very, very suspicious of people who roll out ancient and irrelevant cliches to support their arguments. It's like resorting to mentioning Hitler in a debate-the minute anyone says the phrase "finger in the ear" or anything to do with what folkies wear or what they look like or that no-one could possibly want to listen to a vast, many-faceted genre of music I am afraid I immediately assume I'm dealing with someone that really hasn't thought things through, or who perhaps is clinging to one idea to justify initial rudeness, which is, by the way, fine. I don't think you're entirely wrong Steve, my knowledge of the history of the Proms is limited-I just don't like being insulted from the outset of a discussion.
   My article was not about someone like you that loves both the Classical and folk art forms, it was about the average person on the street that has no access to our folk music at all and who will now have the chance to have that, for free, at one of our most famous arts festivals. If you react to perceived patronisation by committing the same crime it makes you look petty. Maybe I just did that! Oops. Going now. Sorry if I offended you, but I'm not an idiot and I honestly thought the beginning of the article qualified my position at the end.
Thanks everyone for your support. I have no doubt, because I've spent plenty of time around this forum, that you all would have ripped me to shreds if you had thought I was out of order.
eliza


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Sue Allan
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 07:27 PM

It grieves me to say it, but sadly most people 'on the street' have no access to either folk or classical music. Suggestions as to what we can do about that?

It's absolutely fantastic that both art forms should be represented at the Proms ... and we should be letting as many people as possible know about it.

Sue


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,guy wolff
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 07:41 PM

This is a great discussion and as an American I have been amazed for years at the lack of national support, in Briton for its musical heritage. I am fascinated at everything said here .
        I would love to see how the powers that be in British legislation would feel about home made classical music get togethers in pubs . Would that fly easier then singsongs ?
        The British tourist board could use your wonderful folk music traditions as a commodity; not something to be embarrassed of to bring folks abroad.
        The discussion at hand is the tip of a rather large iceberg I think . Finding a common voice for a rather large and diverse group of folk musicians is daunting .I look forward some day to the Northumbrian Pipers So having a show at the Albert Hall in the same way great folk acts end up at our Carnigie Hall here in New York . More "traditional music" at both venues is the ticket!! In good will to all here , Guy Wolff


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 07:49 PM

" I would love to see how the powers that be in British legislation would feel about home made classical music get togethers in pubs ."

It's really interesting you should say that. When I was in discussion with our regional orchestral development body, one of the things I mentioned is that folk is unique in providing "ways in" to the music for adult musicians via sessions in pubs. I said how sad it is that many classically-trained musicians put down their instrument when they leave school, because there aren't informal opportunities to get together with other musicians and just play. I suggested maybe classical music could take a leaf from folk's book...

The classical bunch were horrified at the idea of classical music sessions in pubs! I was informed that classical musicians DO get together informally, in each other's homes, and maybe have a meal and a glass of wine and play. I asked how new people would access these groups, and they looked at me like I was nuts. "Why would you want strangers in your home?"

They weren't inclined to get it, really. So I gave up.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,guy wolff
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:01 PM

My wife plays viola de gamba and I could very easily see a consort of viols and sackbutts getting together in a pub for a "playin !! " A night of Gibons or Tallis " Yes this sort of thing really works to bring new people into the fold and enlarge everyones lives . (As a night of Anglo and English concertina at the Albert Hall could broaden another audience )Ahh what fun !   
yours guy


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:12 PM

You misrepresent what I said, Eliza. I said that the peception of most people( or rather those who can be arsed to actually have a perception I suppose) was finger-in-the-ear, etc. I was not resorting to saying that because that's how I perceive it. I don't. At least I didn't resort to mentioning Hitler. Oops - unfair? Yes, but no more so than your accusation was.   I was saying that there is a perception problem, and one of the problems of English folk music has been its inability to see this. It has been very inward-looking. I've been to very well-publicised gigs by Roy Bailey, Martin Carthy, Pete Coe, Brian Peters and other luminaries that have been attended by handfuls and it's very sad. The average person on the street had access and didn't want it.   A few big names can break through all that these days but they are the exceptions and they are rarely at the very heart of folk music - you know, a bit loud, a bit electric and all that...I love it all the same, just before you accuse me of purism, and I am not against change and innovation. The initial comment on your article was picking you up on your attack on the Proms, which I think was completely unjustified (and you've just admitted your limited knowledge of them - not something, I venture, that was to the fore in that final paragraph), and was in no way insulting. Try "direct." You put your head above the parapet and sometimes you have to just duck down again.   Anyway, to conclude, I think it's great that there will be folk music at the Proms. Good luck with it and make sure they put it on the telly.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 03:27 AM

According to the programme it is only the evening concert that will be on telly (BBC4) Steve. The afternoon prom is live on the radio as is the evening concert too. But the bit in the Guardian last Thursday (10th) suggests the media are interested in this event and so I'm hoping there will be further coverage of the days events since it is branching out from the traditional idea of the Proms and after all it is the Beeb's event.

Sarah


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 04:21 AM

Woo, Oh my!
Who would have thought that a simple concert could provoke such reactions?
Of course it's wonderful that the Beeb has included a Prom concert, and good luck to all involved (Mind you the RAH is a nightmare when it comes to PA....Aaaaargh!
In a way, I've always liked the way that a whole phalanx of BBC presenters (Start List.... Peel, Kershaw, Walker, McConie, Harris, Talkington, Sharp, even Terry Wogan!!) have gradually introduced a different take on all sorts of music. And put it in the mainstream too.
Having left work, I've been going through my recordings of "Folk" related artists, that I was lucky enough to meet and record in the last 30 years at the Beeb.
At a rough guess, I'm up to about 50 hours worth...and still got another bin liner full to sort out.
I'm with Eliza all the way on this one. All opportunities should be taken, although there is a part of me that would like to keep it quiet. If we tell too many people about this stuff, it might become popular!
Look at the Sheffield Carol singing. Once a quiet series of events in Yorkshire pubs, now, you almost need to get a AAA pass to get within 10 miles of the place!!

Anyway, Hope to get to the Barn in June, and good luck to all taking part.

Ralphie

PS Thanks for the mention for Housewives Choice, Eliza!!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Folkiedave
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 04:28 AM

I've been to very well-publicised gigs by Roy Bailey, Martin Carthy, Pete Coe, Brian Peters and other luminaries that have been attended by handfuls and it's very sad. The average person on the street had access and didn't want it.

I have been going to classical concerts for many years and for about twenty years my wife and I were season ticket holders at the Sheffield City Hall for the classical series. Season tickets numbers have been in decline for the last twenty years. My wife sings with the Philharmonic Chorus who struggle for younger (especially male) to join.

When I first arrived in Sheffield people queued around the block for tickets to some concerts - notably the Messiah - but other popular choral and orchestral works too. This never happens now.

I have been to well publicised classical concerts by major orchestras like the Halle - that whilst not empty have hardly been only part full. Around Christmas the Halle's Christmas concert was not a sell out for the first time in years.

A few days later Christy Moore and Declan Sinnot sold out the same venue at £30.00 a ticket.

So let's get rid of this myth you keep perpetuating Steve that people do not want folk. Folk is enjoying a boom at the moment with new festivals each year and new venues and a new audiences. And loads of young people. NB Folk, not folk clubs. The Times recently published (23/03) an article saying exactly the same thing about the USA.

If the major broadcasting organisation allowed people to perpetuate stupid myths about classical music and devoted one hour a week to a poor representaton of the genre on national radio and closed down a lot of the programmes without aking any notice of protests do you think it would last? Do you think it would get subsidised?

Well that's how the traditional music of this country is treated. So let's not knock those who are trying to alter that treatment.

Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Folkiedave
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 04:31 AM

And the Sheffield Carol Festival which takes place every two years is an instant sell out.

And I meant to say "young singers" of course.

Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 05:17 AM

"Which version of Folk Britannia is Shimrod talking about? The one in his/her head or the one that was actually broadcast on my TV?"

My point is that, in my opinion, Eliza C. is one of the few people uniquely qualified to 'represent' English Folk Music. I watched the 'Folk Britannia' programmes with some dismay. In one episode we had Billy Bragg, who seems to think he represents English Folk Music, hogging the stage (in my opinion Mr Bragg's output has very little to do with Folk Music - 'political punk' might be a better description - nothing wrong with that, if you like that sort of thing - I can't stand it!).

On the other hand, during Ms Carthy's episode, my recollection is that she sang a couple of songs but spent most of the programme introducing other performers.

I know that Ms Carthy reads this, and I really don't want to come across as some sort of 'starstruck fan', but I do think that, of all the younger performers, she is the most talented and most innovative, as well as the performer who gets closest to the emotional heart of English Trad. music. We need to hear more of Eliza Carthy and less of the likes of Mr Bragg! You are our great hope, Eliza - go for it!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 05:28 AM

With the greatest respect to Eliza, Shimrod, I think English traditional music would be in a pretty parlous state if its future rested on a single pair of shoulders. Billy Bragg notwithstanding, there are a host of young(ish) performers who are making positive contributions to the future of the music (and dance). Yes, Eliza takes risks and is innovative while remaining true to the tradition, which is not an easy feat to pull off, but she had some pretty good teachers in the previous generation of her family (not least in Lal Waterson).

But let's not forget about the rest of the young English folk scene. If the music has a future, it is going to rely on a critical mass of solid young performers, and from what I observe at festivals and events around the country, the scene is in rude good health. There are many of them whom I'd be happy to see as ambassadors for English folk music.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 05:38 AM

Dave. I'm not saying that all is sweetness and roses in classical either. But chucking in a long-time legend like Christy in to demonstrate how to get audiences is like me saying we'll get Simon Rattle and the Berlin Phil, fill the Bridgewater three times over and lo! See how all's well in the world of classical!   And the Hallé playing Messiaen or Shostakovich will never fill the hall but that is not a reason for not airing less mainstream, less popular works. Without subsidy you'd have to ditch them (no loss to me in those cases as it happens but that's hardly the point is it. Had Bach been left to "market forces" in the hundred years after his death instead of being advocated by a few aficionados with vision we would scarcely have heard of him now). A big promoter in London can fill the Albert Hall every week as long as puts the all-bells-and-whistles 1812 on the menu. The subsidies for classical help to preserve diversity. I hope you can see it's not the same perception problem as with folk music. Anyone can quote exceptions that prove the rule. I happen to think that we need to preserve culture, even minority culture, and that will usually require taxpayers' dosh. Jeez, if they can do it for Northern bloody Rock... The problem with folk is that it has yet to prove (not to you, not to me, not to each other!) that there is culture worth preserving. To the general public, even to the reluctant Beeb. Traditional Irish has big problems of perception (and the rapidly-changing nature of the country) too but they are not the same as here and there are several regular (and good) radio slots on RTE and on local radio. It's what people think of us at the end of the day innit. We can't expect either them or even the Beeb to make all the running in getting the perception right and fair. It has to come from within.   Whining on about lack of subsidy of folk is a perfect manifestation of one of the symptoms of the problem.   Anyway, the Barn Concert is great and will do good. I didn't haven't a pot at Eliza's article because I have a problem with the gig.   I just don't. I didn't have a problem with the article either apart from the snipe in the final paragraph. We need good airings by good people. All power.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 05:42 AM

political punk

Shimrod doesn't seem to be aware of the range of Billy Bragg's songwriting output.
Long may King James' Version stay in Eliza's set (and indeed St Swithin's Day in her mother's).


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 05:46 AM

And I happen to think that Billy Bragg is truly a folk performer in the best sense of the term. He sings great songs about CONTEMPORARY issues that affect real people. If there had ever been a golden age that's what folk singers would have been doing. Yes, that could get up some traditionalists' noses I suppose. Of course, if we WANT to sideline anyone with electric pretensions or regional accents...


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:06 AM

"Whining on about lack of subsidy of folk is a perfect manifestation of one of the symptoms of the problem."

I'd love to see how the classical community would start whining if their subsidy was cut back so that it was commensurate with other artforms.

The whole point is that the lack of subsidy reflects the lack of priority placed on our national music by the government - a huge missed opportunity, as was mentioned earlier, in terms of tourism and national identity.

While Cecil Sharp House in London struggles to even be fit for purpose, Ceol, the recently-opened Irish Traditional Music Centre in Dublin, received something like £4m in public subsidy. Its opening was attended by the Minister for Culture. Apparently it's a fantastic building with great facilities - a showcase for the country's traditional culture.

THAT's why I'm "whining on". Because if English music were properly valued and funded, it could stand shoulder to shoulder with any other music this country produces. You may call it whining - I call it lobbying.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:16 AM

But I'm saying we have to ask ourselves why the nation doesn't fall over backwards to give us some dosh. I't's no good keeping complaining that it just ain't fair. We have to address the reasons for the reluctance. Folk music is seen by a lot of non-folkies as inhabiting its own strange, cliquey world. You know it's wrong, I know it's wrong, but if that's what people think the government is not going to throw money gleefully in our direction. I mean, can you demonstrate how folk music can be used to help define our "national identity," still more drag in the tourist quid? You've got a job on there!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:18 AM

Of course, we could start by not calling ourselves "folkies." Just like Irish music should avoid referring to itself as "diddley music."


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:29 AM

If someone employed me to do it, Steve, I daresay I could. Irish music didn't get to where it is without national government intervention.

If the government recognised traditional culture as part of the heritage industry, and promoted it accordingly (perhaps starting with the brilliant folk festivals we have), it would raise the profile of the music and dance both within Britain and beyond.

If money was spent on teaching children GOOD QUALITY traditional music and dance in schools, it would begin to form part of a national identity.

Two quick ideas, as I'm just off out. But honestly, it's not rocket science.


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:42 AM

EC didn't front any of 'Folk Britannia', she co-presented the 'Daughters of Albion' concert and her 'episode' isn't on either of the two series recordings I made!

Is 'Visual Comprehension' not taught in schools at all?


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: mattkeen
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:47 AM

As the old album title goes:
"Hull 4 London 0"

I think its brilliant


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:49 AM

"And I happen to think that Billy Bragg is truly a folk performer in the best sense of the term. He sings great songs about CONTEMPORARY issues that affect real people. If there had ever been a golden age that's what folk singers would have been doing."

Says who?

Oh how I hate the idea that music has to be 'relevant'! The idea that Folk Music has to be 'relevant' is a politically correct, Twentieth Century fabrication. It's a load of sanctimonius twaddle! The only things that Folk Music is, or has to be, relevant to is the human heart and imagination. Let's have less f*cking 'relevance' and more skill and passion. Over to you, Eliza ...

I stand by everything I said!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: Willa
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:51 AM

"The orchestral bods were also very sniffy aboutt he project being folk-led, and at the idea that they could learn anything from the folk side of things."


Clearly they don't relise that many composers of classical music did feel they could learn from the'folk' and did so!


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Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy in the Guardian
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 06:58 AM

There's none so blind as those that won't....


    C !!!


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